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The UK to launch Caribbean infrastructure partnership

Source: livemint

Source: livemint

 The English speaking Caribbean is set to benefit from 300 million pounds in grant funding to support infrastructure development.

British Prime Minister David Cameron made the announcement in a joint sitting of Jamaica’s parliament on September 30, 2015.

“I’m launching a new UK, Caribbean infrastructure partnership to build real tangible things that will make a difference for people across the Caribbean. Roads, bridges, ports, critical economic infrastructure that will set the foundations for growth and prosperity and in turn reduce poverty while helping the region to become more resilient to the risks of Climate Change. Just think about what this could deliver, hundreds of kilometer of roads to link up vital markets. Bridges to unite remote communities. New energy projects to power growth and vital defenses to protect coastal communities. Let me be clear £300 million is not soft loads, not tide aid. It is cash grants.”

Cameron says Caribbean leaders will decide how to spend the funds. He also announced an additional 60 million pounds in financing.

“Today I can also announce 30 million pounds for new programs to help attract investments and improve governance and 30 million pounds to help make your hospital more resilient to natural disasters. We need to make sure that if a hurricane strikes, crucial health centers can remain operational to treat the wounded and together this represents a quadrupling of Britain support. It will make us the largest donor to the region. It will create jobs and save lives and you can take it literally as a concrete statement of my commitment to the Caribbean.”

The British Prime Minister adds he hopes the Caribbean will make use of US 9 billion in climate adaptation financing that the UK will provide over the next five years.

“We hope this money can help unlock the global climate deal and giving the vulnerability of small island state that face the risk of devastation from climate change, a fair proportion should be sent, I hope will be spent right here supporting some of the UK’s oldest friends to prepare and provide for the future. When I met Caribbean leaders just a few days ago at the United Nations General Assembly. They made it clear to me directly, just how vital the climate deal is to them. So I pledge to work in partnership with them and other like minded states to secure a bold and ambitious deal in Paris later this year.”

Cameron also revealed that the UK will spend £25 million on building a prison in Jamaica so that foreign criminals in the UK can be sent home to serve sentences in the Caribbean.

More than 600 Jamaican nationals are in UK jails but cannot be deported because of Jamaica’s poor prison conditions.

Officials say the foreign aid-funded deal could save taxpayers £10m a year when transfers begin in 2020.

Credit: The Daily Observer

The Decade of Sustainable Energy and the Post 2015 Development Agenda

Children using solar lamp to study in a remote village Credit: CARICOM Newsletter

Children using solar lamp to study in a remote village
Credit: CARICOM Newsletter

Decade of Sustainable Energy for All: We have now entered the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, 2014 – 2024, which was established by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2012. Inter alia, the resolution highlights the goals of increased energy access, renewable energy (RE) usage and energy efficiency (EE). The focus of the resolution recognises that sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy (SE), as well as, the reality that one in every five persons on the planet still lacks access to electricity, while one in every three does not have access to clean cooking fuel.

SE provides new opportunities: children can study after dark, clinics can store life-saving vaccines, etc. Additionally, it enables businesses to grow, generates jobs and creates new markets, thereby fostering growth in countries through more resilient and competitive economies.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the SE4ALL Initiative, stated that “With Sustainable Energy, countries can leapfrog over the limits of the energy systems of the past and build the clean energy economies of the future.”

Many of these potential benefits are relevant to most CARICOM Member States, where the energy challenge has been established as a major binding constraint to achieving economic competitiveness, growth and overall economic resilience. The goals of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative are relevant to CARICOM, because:

  • The issue of lack of access is particularly relevant to some Member States; and
  • The main solution to the overarching energy sector challenges of the lack of affordability and\ the over-dependence on imported oil (characteristic of most CARICOM countries), lies in the increased diversification of their energy supplies with RE playing a major role, along with EE.

It is therefore considered useful for CARICOM to seek to be engaged with the developments in the context of the UN Decade of SE4ALL, given the potential support for SE development through this Platform.

Read more here.

Credit: CARICOM Energy Programme

Proposed Elements for Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Released

DDR

Credit: UNISDR

The  ‘Proposed Elements’ for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction are now available. The ‘Proposed Elements’ now being considered draws on consultations with stakeholders that began in early 2012, including online, local, national, regional and global events. Further guidance came from the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG)’s advisory groups, country reports through the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) HFA Monitor, the findings of the biennial UN Global Assessment Reports on Disaster Risk Reduction (2009, 2011 and 2013) relevant deliberations of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as growing literature and practice on disaster risk and resilience.

Over 60 senior government officials, Members of Parliament, scientists, business executives, lawyers, practitioners, and civil society representatives – all serving pro bono in their personal capacity, provided counsel to the SRSG to formulate the Proposed Elements.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/67/209) agreed to convene the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to review implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and to adopt a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. The 2012 resolution requested UNISDR to serve as secretariat of the World Conference in 2015, to facilitate development of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (HFA2), and to coordinate the preparatory activities in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

The Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction will undergo the formal preparatory process of the 3rd World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, Japan, 14‐18 March 2015) before it is endorsed by the Conference and transmitted to the United Nations General Assembly for final endorsement.

View full document of the Proposed Elements.

Credit/Source: Prevention Web

Today is World Water Day!

Video Credit: The UN

Today is World Water Day! It is being observed under the theme International Year of Water Cooperation. In designating 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, the United Nations General Assembly recognizes that cooperation is essential to strike a balance between competing needs and priorities and share this precious resource equitably, as well as using water as an instrument of peace.

In his official address to celebrate World Water Day, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says “water holds the key to sustainable development, we must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource.” Watch his full address below…

According to The Water We Eat, a report produced by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN), the average person consumes more than 3,400 liters of virtual water each day—this is the water hidden in the products we buy and the food we eat and it can vary significantly.  So “what we eat, how we produce food, and how much food we waste can all impact the size of our water footprint. ” How are you managing your water footprint?

World Water Day is observed annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Learn more about our work to improve water resources across the Caribbean here.

Here are seven free World Water Day tools courtesy of Food Tank, a Think Tank focused on issues related to food.

1. On Pinterest, Food Tank developed 24 images about ways each of us can reduce water waste. Please check them out (and feel free to share them) by clicking HERE.
2. Drop In the Bucket put together this great short video for YouTube offering powerful facts about water.
3. UN World Water Day did a series of great animations and educational materials to celebrate World Water Day.
4. For great research and advocacy campaigns about food and water all year long see the Food and Water Watch website.
5. For more information about international water policy check out the Global Water Policy Project.
6. The Center for Investigative Reporting offers these six cool infographics about food and water.
7. And several of the CGIAR centers provide great research and tools, including the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

United Nations Observes First International Day of Forests

Google Image

Google Image

Today is the International Day of Forests. This historic United Nations General Assembly designation is “to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests”.

For centuries forests have been a source of food, fibre, livelihoods, resources and water.  They are also central to combating climate change, but until today, and despite a multitude of special days honouring or commemorating key elements of human life, there has never been a globally recognized day for paying homage to the world’s forests.

In a message for the new International Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said:  “By proclaiming the International Day of Forests, the United Nations has created a new platform to raise awareness about the importance of all types of forest ecosystems to sustainable development.”

Learn more about our work to improve forests across the Caribbean here (search using relevant terms as you would in Google).
Here’s a sample of what we have done… Morne Diablotin National Park: Improved Management Plan 2011-2016 and Morne Trois Pitons National Park World Heritage Site: Improved Management Plan.

**Source: United Nations Press Release. Read more…

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